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In Defense of the Holy Trinity: New Testament (Part 3)

Note: This is mostly a machine translation from Spanish by Google.  However, I’ll do some minor editing as time allows me.  Thanks and I hope you find this essay useful. 

As many of you know, the concept of the Holy Trinity is not limited to the Hebrew Scriptures. Most evidence is found in the New Testament with the coming of Jesus of Nazareth: “God with us” in the Old Testament ( Matthew 1: 20-23 ).

The baptism of Jesus

Right from the very beginning of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, during His baptism in the Jordan River, for example, San Marcos tells how John the Baptist saw the Spirit of God descending upon the Son (in the form of a dove) and that after God the Father’s voice was heard “you are my beloved Son; I have pleasure in you “( Mark 1: 9-11 ).

Then, in the event that officially marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth, His baptism, the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity were already present there: In the time that God the Father anointed the Son with the blessed Holy Spirit.

The Great Commission

Another important story about the Trinitarian doctrine is also found at the conclusion of the Gospel according to Matthew.  In the last and perhaps the most important mandate that Jesus gave to his disciples about evangelism — to go and preach to all nations of the world.  This was a commandment that (by the way) the Lord gave not only to His eleven disciples who were present at that time, but also to all of those who would be his disciples through the ages (see best all Matthew 28: 16-20 in context):

All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you ; and behold , I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Apart from this clear Trinitarian statement ( “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit “), I think we can get out of here a couple of additional lessons about the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ resurrected and He will judge all mankind

First, please notice that Christ said , “All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth ” ( verse 18 ), which is obviously a very strong statement in itself, as testified of his divine authority throughout the universe.  The Lord also had earlier told the apostles that He not only going to resurrect all the dead in the world, but also Jesus would judge all mankind; this would include all men, women and children of all ages, of all nations of the world ( John 5: 19-29 ).

The Omnipresence of Jesus

In addition, also notic that when the Lord said ” … behold , I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world ” (returning to Matthew 28:20 ), Jesus used this on “time I am with you” (present tense, not future).  In other words, Jesus clearly indicated that although he was physically into heaven, the Lord will never abandon his disciples spiritually.  The Lord has always remained spiritually on earth, dwelling in the heart of every believer, even after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven in flesh and bones.

In an analogous way, when Christ came from heaven and took the form of man, He never stopped being in Heaven in Spirit, because of its Omnipresence.  The evidence of this last statement we may find so impressive we’ll find it that night when the Lord met with Nicodemus. There, Christ exposed this Pharisee other essential doctrines of Christianity in the historical leader: The need to be born again.

During that short speech (see also Jesus and Nicodemus ), the Lord also told that “no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that came down from heaven; the Son of man which is in heaven “( John 3: 13; verb “is” bold by this author for emphasis).  The important thing here is to note the present tense of the phrase “… it is in heaven.”  It was not written that Jesus “was” in heaven but “is” in heaven, even in the times that Jesus was physically here on earth, as was the case of that opportunity when this Pharisee came to Jesus at night.

In other words, when the Lord came down from heaven, He remained spiritually in heaven; and after his resurrection, when Jesus returned to heaven, He also remained spiritually in the heart of every believer (through the Holy Spirit after Pentecost in Acts 2 ).  Even before physical coming of Jesus Christ to earth, St. Peter himself tells us that the “Spirit of Christ” had already inspired many Old Testament prophets to write about Jesus ( 1 Peter 1:11 ).  These facts testify that although the Lord was physically or materially a man (being in one place when he was in flesh and bones), even with His own limitations on earth, spiritually Jesus is in that sense Omnipresent, a quality that is attributed to God alone.

Other evidence of his omnipresence can be found in John 1: 48 where the Lord Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree despite not having been physically there at that time.  Although some might think that if Jesus was there present, that would not explain the fact that Nathanael was amazed so that he exclaimed: ” Rabbi, you are the Son of God ” ( verse 49 ).

The angels worship the Thee Times Holy

We can also mention the intrinsic knowledge of the angels of God their Creator beings who not only referred to God as three persons, but also as one Lord at once.

First (returning for a moment to the Old Testament), we see the six-winged seraphim exclaiming: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts” ( Isaiah 6: 3 ).  This same scene is repeated in the New Testament, where apparently these same beings with six wings and many eyes also praised the Lord again and in the same way: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty” ( Revelation 4: 8 ). In the latter two cases, these angels praise the Lord calling him thrice holy, and then refer to Him as one God (first as “Lord of hosts” and then as “Lord God Almighty”).

The Holy Trinity in the final salutation of Paul

There are other passages in the New Testament where it indirectly testifies of the Holy Trinity.  In 2 Corinthians 13:14 , for example, St. Paul writes in his final salutation: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”  Here St. Paul also speaks of the love of God the Father, who sent his only Son to save us through the grace and comfort through communion and consolation of the blessed Spirit of God.  They are all different functions, but God is always the same.

Holy Trinity after the Resurrection of Christ

Similarly in John 15:26 , when Jesus was teaching his disciples what would happen after his glorious death, Jesus mentioned:

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me” [bold text by author for emphasis].

From these words also we learn that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and would eventually be sent by the Son to testify to the things that Jesus taught us when he was on earth.

The Holy Spirit as “Him”

This last verse we also will serve to introduce another important topic within the context of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity: The Person of the blessed Spirit of God, also called the New Testament the Holy Spirit or Comforter.

I think any honest person to read John 15: 26 would realize that the Lord Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit as a Person (a “he” in the modern Castilian is written as “He”), it is in truth the Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Holy Trinity.

Example sect that degrades the Person of the Holy Spirit: Jehovah’s Witnesses

However, they will always see those who will try to challenge this conventional concept within what is the historical to try to put the danger of Christian faith, if possible, even the elect. Therefore, our study of the Trinitarian doctrine would be incomplete if it does not include some basic evaluation of at least one of the alternative dogmas that has tried to find a tradeoff what God has pinpointed about his own person explanation.

I think when we talk about opposing dogmas to the Trinitarian doctrine, the first thing that we come to mind most of us are Jehovah’s Witnesses, who call the Holy Spirit something like a kind of force or energy that emanates from God :

“… The holy spirit is God ‘s active force. It is not a person but a powerful force that God causes to emanate from himself to accomplish his holy purpose. ” 1

First notice the lack of reverence by calling the blessed Spirit of God just a “holy spirit” (with lowercase letters) precisely because for the Witnesses, the Holy Spirit is not a person, that is, not God, but for them is only a force or energy (such as wind, electricity, or nuclear energy).

To defend its doctrine, the Witnesses argue that the Holy Spirit is rather a “personification” of God 2 and typically mention some biblical quotations such as Luke 7:35 , where it says that wisdom have children; Genesis 4:10 , which says that the blood cries; or Romans 7:11 , where it says that sin kills.

However, these are abstract concepts that the authors of Scripture knew they were not going to confuse readers in Bible times. In terms of modern literature, however we are less accustomed to reading personifications of abstract ideas or concepts, a fact that the Witnesses have shrewdly used to build evil doctrines.

The Bible clearly speaks of the Holy Spirit as a person and God

However, even today we can see that when the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit, refers or clearly speaks of a Divine Person, that is God himself, the Third Person in the Holy Trinity. Scripture quotations are innumerable, but please let me mention a few verses to illustrate the fact that it was virtually unchallenged for centuries.

In Acts 5: 3-5 , for example, the sad story mentioned when Ananias try to deceive San Pedro subtrahend money from a house that Ananias had sold voluntarily:

3 And Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and the price of the land?

4 Whiles, you can not remain your own? and sold, was it not in your power? Why did you put this in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.

5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down and expired. And great fear seized all who heard it.

Here we see first Ananias try to lie to the Holy Spirit (verse 3) and yet later we read that God himself had lied (verse 4). These verses clearly show that the Holy Spirit is God. That simple. No need to beating around the bush or seeking answers to philosophical or esoteric text that really presents no challenge not inherently interpretation, unless you really want to misinterpret the passage on purpose.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: All at once dwell in believer’s heart

We can also return to Chapter 14 of San Juan for a moment to find more evidence about the person and divinity of the blessed Holy Spirit. For this (and as always) I suggest you read all the Chapter 14 context (that by the way this is one of the most beautiful chapters of the Bible). However, for simplicity, I will mention only the most relevant verses to show that the Holy Spirit is a Person, and at the same time, is also God.

Then remember what the Lord Jesus said on that occasion:

16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever;

17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world can not receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you ….

22 He said Judas (not Iscariot): Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world?

23 Jesus answered and said: He who loves me will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him ….

26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said.

I think in this case too, the words of Jesus are quite clear and obvious. The Lord says first in verse 17 that the Holy Spirit ” dwells with you ” and that ” it will be in you ” (ie in the heart of all the disciples of Christ), then Jesus adds that he and the Father dwell in who keeps the word of God (verse 23).

I think the verdict is quite clear in the ears of anyone who sincerely and with the help of God wants to understand.

How is it that the Father, Jesus, and the Comforter dwell together in the heart of the believer? For the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God who manifests simultaneously on three different people. The Father sends the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus to comfort the believer.

More biblical evidence about the Godhead

I really do not think we need more verses or biblical passages to realize that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, and who dwells with the Father and the Son, and is therefore also God. But if the reader is not fully convinced and above all become (most certain is that this in connection due to any of these sects who deny the Trinitarian doctrine), I have included at the end of this essay some additional verses that will allow you to see for yourself (or same) that the Holy Spirit can not be any force or energy. 3

I also added a link to another trial of Baptist pastor Paul Santomauro where he also explains very clearly that the Holy Spirit can not simply be the active force of God. The reasons are also very logical: A “force” can not have the three primary attributes of personality that are the mind, will and emotions. 4  

There really is a lot of material on the Internet talking about the Holy Spirit and the Holy Trinity, but everything seems to be Christian is not really a Christian (as the old saying goes ” all that glitters is not gold “), and is therefore must remember that the same Holy Spirit that inspired all the writers of the Bible also warned us that in the end times there will be many false prophets who try to deceive if possible even the elect ( Matthew 24: 24 ).

Keeping reverence and respect to the Holy Spirit

Finally, one must always be careful when you talk about God. It may be that perhaps through ignorance, to draw their own preliminary conclusions or (as happens more often) to accept the opinions of other sects or religions, one might be demeaning the person of God himself.

Let us remember that it was Jesus Christ himself who said that the unforgivable sin was the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit ( Mark 3: 22-30 ). While this passage presents its own challenges of interpretation (and analyze here force us to get out of the main topic 5 ), which one should always remember that God is you always have to have him reverence and respect.

I know this last statement it might seem unnecessary (for anyone who professes to be a follower of Christ), but I think it is so important that it deserves to take that risk.

God is the Creator of the Universe and we always have to remember that we are only dust. God is not only the Almighty, the Omniscient and Omnipresent, is also a God of love that cares about you. Personally, and to intensely follow all the actions of his life, and who did not hesitate at any time send his own only son so that through his death, to believe in Jesus, we can find salvation ( John 3: 16 ).

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The mystery of the Holy Trinity is one of the most essential dogmas within the Christian faith. Although it is a term that is not specifically in the Holy Scriptures, the whole Bible speaks and testifies of one God manifested in three persons essentially the same; ie equal in essence but different in function: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I do not think it’s a perfect concept because the human mind is too imperfect to understand all the eternal mysteries of Almighty God, but even so, I am of the opinion that the trinitarian concept, however, is the clearest concept that we as human beings we can get to understand with our limited understanding.

I also think that as human beings, we have to understand and above all we must accept our limitations and not try to go beyond what God has chosen to show (especially not go to extra – biblical sources to find information undisclosed). Recall that Paul himself, despite having been in the third heaven ( 2 Corinthians 12: 2 ), he humbly told us that we know in part and testify part ( 1 Corinthians 13: 9 ). Remember that the secret things belong unto the Lord our God, the more are revealed believers to always serve the One True God, the Lord of Hosts ( Deuteronomy 29:29 ).

Finally, the mystery of the Holy Trinity will remain a great mystery of God’s love for us humans imperfect and limited power of reasoning, imperfect beings that despite being sinners, God Himself became incarnate as a man to give us eternal salvation in this world and the consolation of the Spirit of Truth. So I think at the moment is a mystery to us because in this world we will never have full knowledge. Partly we know and testify part, more so when the perfect comes what is in part was over:

And without controversy great it is the mystery of godliness:

God [Father] was manifested in the flesh [Son], justified in Spirit [the Holy Spirit] … “( 1 Timothy 3: 16 )

Amen.

Notes:

1) Reasoning from the Scriptures ( Reasoning from the Scriptures [New York: 1985], 85), published by the Watch Tower organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses (in the original English): ” … the holy spirit is the active force of God. It is not a person but is a powerful force That God causes to emanate from himself to accomplish His holy will . ”


2) Ibid., 85.


3) As always, I recommend reading all Scripture quotations that I or others mentioned in context. I know this seems like a monumental task, and it is, but it is nevertheless also necessary. The list presented below shows that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, the third in the Holy Trinity. This list is not exhaustive in any moment, but could rather be the beginning of a long journey in search of truth:

The Holy Spirit bears witness ( John 15: 26 and Romans 8: 16 ); the Holy Spirit guides the Truth ( John 16: 13 ); glorifies the Holy Spirit ( John 16: 14 ); the Holy Spirit directs evangelism ( Acts 16: 6 ); the Holy Spirit intercedes ( Romans 8: 26-27 ); sends the Holy Spirit ( Acts 13: 4 ); the Holy Spirit makes decisions within the Church ( Acts 15:28 and Acts 20:28 ); the Holy Spirit causes prophecy ( Acts 11: 27-28 and Acts 21:11 ); the Holy Spirit commands ( Acts 11: 12 and Acts 13: 2 ); the Holy Spirit gives gifts ( 1 Corinthians 12:11 ); reveals the Holy Spirit ( Luke 2:26 ); and finally the Holy Spirit speak whole sentences ( Acts 8: 29 ).


4) Paul Santomauro, ” Is the Holy Spirit a Person? “Link updated in August 9th, 2016.


5) If you are interested in learning more about the traditional interpretation of that particular passage might read perhaps one of the most accepted interpretations (within the evangelical Christian faith) on the website of the Ministry GotQuestions.org: What is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?